Everyone has experienced pain at some point in one’s life. Pain can range from the incidental inconvenience of overwork in the gym to the random back spasm to the chronic pain of arthritis. Regardless of the type of pain – sharp or dull, worse in the rain or the cold, localized or generalized – acupuncture can help.
Many people turn to pain-relieving medicines to treat the symptoms. However, acupuncture and herbal medicine treat not only the pain, but also the underlying cause of the pain from a holistic, systemic viewpoint. It is important to remember that acupuncture has a cumulative effect, so results last longer with each subsequent treatment. The ultimate goal is to allow you to be pain- free without acupuncture after a series of treatments. When treating certain conditions, herbal medicine or bodywork may be suggested as an adjunct to acupuncture.
What types of pain does acupuncture treat?
We regularly treat patients with lower back pain, headache/migraine, menstrual cramps, neck pain, knee pain, muscle (myofascial) pain, elbow pain (tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow), carpal tunnel, and arthritis as well as post-surgical pain. We also treat pregnant women for the various types of pain they get as a result of being pregnant.
The federal government is also funding research studies to demonstrate the efficacy of acupuncture to treat many of these conditions. We have already seen acupuncture work, but we are happy to have results demonstrated through clinical trials.
How does acupuncture work to treat pain?
Acupuncture works by changing the flow of Qi (vital life-force) through the body. Qi flows along meridians that cover the entire body. A good analogy is comparing the meridians to highways and byways traversing the countryside and the Qi to cars travelling on those roads. When there is a traffic jam, the cars cannot drive freely. When Qi cannot flow smoothly, we get pain.
When someone comes to the office with a pain problem, we evaluate where the Qi is stuck and then use acupuncture to get it un-stuck and freely moving again. From a biomedical perspective, we are also releasing muscle spasms and encouraging blood flow to affected tissues to promote healing. Acupuncture also causes the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters to stop or block pain signals. In other words, acupuncture has both a local effect, at the site of pain and a systemic effect involving the brain.
In some cases, we encourage multiple acupuncture treatments per week. Herbal medicine can also be used to give treatments between acupuncture sessions.
Our approach to treating pain
The type of pain problem will dictate the type of acupuncture treatment, whether points local to or far from the pain are chosen. We also employ heat lamp therapy and moxibustion when applicable. After almost all musculo-skeletal pain treatments, a short massage is given. We believe that even a short massage reinforces the acupuncture treatment and improves results.
When a more intensive massage is indicated, our practitioners can refer you to one of the bodyworker’s on the team at Adele Reising Acupuncture. For more information about bodywork, please visit the pages in the menu to the left.
We also encourage an integrative approach and the use of bio-medical treatments concomitant to acupuncture treatment, such as medication and or physical therapy when indicated.